cystic fibrosis

Team Katie – Great Strides 2011 results!

Team Katie - Great Strides 2011
Team Katie - Great Strides 2011

To all Team Katie supporters,

Thank you so much for your generous contributions to Team Katie in support of the 2011 Great Strides fundraiser. We continue to be overwhelmed by the tremendous outpouring of generosity and encouragement that we’ve received from you, our friends, as we do what we can to help find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis.

This annual fundraiser has been a huge motivator for us. In many ways, we feel powerless to help Katie. Our fundraising efforts have been one of the key ways that we’ve had to focus our energy in a positive way to help Katie live a long, healthy life. The funds that we raise are efficiently used to support CF patients and to help find a cure.

Some numbers from today:
Total money raised for the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation = $1,961,608+
Total money raised for the Niagara-Hamilton Great Strides Walk = $107,686
Total money raised for Team Katie = $17,154
Total sponsors for Team Katie = 243
Total Team Katie walkers today = 80

You can see a slideshow of some pics from this weekend’s event here:

And, the complete flickr photo stream of the event is located here:

Your monetary contributions have been a huge source of inspiration for us and we thank you for that. Not only are you helping fund the fight to beat CF, but each of you have also given our family a boost – we live with CF on a daily basis. We try not to get down, and most of the time, we’re okay. But, sometimes it all catches up with us. The weight of a fatal disease in the family makes for some grim thoughts from time to time. But, we feel comfort knowing that we have so many friends that support us and rally behind us in this cause.

To everyone that has helped us this year, we thank you. Each of you, in contributing your time, money, thoughts and prayers are helping to save Katie’s life. And for that, we are eternally grateful.

Much love,

Todd, Julie, Noah, Katie & Riley

cystic fibrosis

Great Strides 2011 – the walk is this weekend!

Great Strides 2011 - Team Kaite
Great Strides 2011 - Team Katie


After much fundraising, the walk has finally arrived! This Sunday is Great Strides and here are the logistics for this Sunday:

Date/Time to meet: 9am on Sunday May 29
Location: front entrance of Safari Niagara in Stevensville (link to Google map w/ directions)
For those with a paper map or GPS system, here’s the address:
2821 Stevensville Road
Stevensville, Ontario
L0S 1S0

On walk day, make sure you bring:
 * your “manage online donations” and “manage cash and cheque donations” printouts;
 * your Great Strides t-shirt;
 * dress for the weather – the walk will proceed rain or shine;

Note: if you have received a t-shirt this year, wear it (Julie should have been in touch with you if a t-shirt is available for you). If you didn’t register in time this year and have a t-shirt from last year, please wear it. And, if you don’t have a t-shirt at all, wear a red t-shirt if you have one. (and, let’s make sure you get registered early next year so that you are included in the t-shirt order)

Here’s the ballpark agenda for the day:
9am: Assemble as a team;
 – get a team picture – here’s last year’s picture;
 – submit your paperwork at the registration desk (each walker/family needs to register at the registration desk);
9:30am: Go our separate ways and enjoy the walk through the park;
11:30am: Meet as a team in the bandshell area (it’ll be marked) to eat lunch
 – Last year, complimentary hot dogs & pop were provided;
 – Bring your own drinks & snacks;
 – For the kids: enjoy the bouncy castles, clown, balloon animals and face painting;
1pm: Awards ceremony – top fundraisers get prizes!
 – stick around for this – in previous years, many Team Katie fundraisers received really nice prizes;

To do in advance:

  1. If possible, keep track of your cash and cheque donations online so that this will go towards our Team Katie grand total (Click here to log in, then click on “Fundraising” at the top of the page. Under your fundraising summary (middle of the page) click on the “Manage Cash & Cheques” and follow the instructions);
  2. Print out your “manage online donations” and “manage cash and cheque donations” and bring them with you on walk day along with any cash & cheques that you have collected;
  3. Mark your submissions clearly with “Team Katie” to make sure they are reflected in our team’s total!

If you have questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to email or call us:
Home: (905) 563-7195
Julie cell: (905) 348-9169
Todd cell: (905) 931-0945

Thanks for your commitment to help us make CF mean Cure Found!

See all of you on Sunday!

Todd, Julie, Noah, Katie & Riley


Check out Breathing As A Family

Breathing As A Family
Breathing As A Family


As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I haven’t written on this blog for a while. Life has been busy: 3 kids, a new house, a new job, etc. I will write here again in the future. But, in the meantime, I’m dedicating most of my online writing to another blog called

What is Breathing As A Family? It is our family blog, detailing the challenges of dealing with Cystic Fibrosis. Our daughter Katie was diagnosed with CF and this blog is a document to our experience dealing with this disease.

Cystic Fibrosis, or CF, affects the lungs and the digestive system. CF is the most common, fatal, genetic disease affecting Canadian children and young adults. Forty years ago, most children with CF did not live long enough to attend kindergarten. Today, half of Canadians with CF will still not live into their 40s.

Here’s a video that provides a snapshot into Katie’s life:

So, while you await the day when I start blogging on this site again, please do direct your attention to

Thanks and talk soon!


cystic fibrosis

Breathe Easy Nebulizer Mask Holder

Breathe Easy Nebulizer Mask Holder
Breathe Easy Nebulizer Mask Holder

All CF parents out there, you must check out this product: The Breathe Easy Nebulizer Mask Holder

What a great device! Julie found this online and ordered one. Order total = $31.50 which includes shipping. The device even came with an extra “Bubbles the Fish Pediatric Aerosol Mask”, which is a bonus so that we can rotate masks more often.

To use it, all you do is put the strap on your child’s head, adjust the fish mask on the face and then attach the nebulizer to the front of the mask. Easy as 1 2 3.

The product creator, Melissa, was motivated to make this mask holder for a friend’s child, who has CF. According to Melissa, “This mask holder was created for a friend of mine to help with her son’s breathing treatments. Her little boy has Cystic Fibrosis and must have multiple breathing treatments every day. She struggled with getting the nebulizer mask, with its flimsy elastic strap, to stay on his head securely.”

And, as an added bonus, Melissa will also donate a portion of any purchase referred by Breathing As A Family to Cystic Fibrosis Canada! Simply mention that you heard about this here (and mention Team Katie) during the checkout process (there is a spot for additional comments on Etsy when you place your order) and Melissa will do the rest.

Thanks to Melissa (mktdesigns on Etsy) for providing such a great product.

Please pass this along to any other CF families that you know!


cystic fibrosis

Corporate Sponsors Needed for Team Katie!

Team Katie 2011
Team Katie 2011

Here’s a PDF copy of this letter Please spread the word!

Dear business owner,

As you may know, our daughter Katie Dow is a 4 year old Beamsville resident with Cystic Fibrosis. Team Katie is the group of family, friends and co-workers that are rallying around Katie to help find a cure to for Cystic Fibrosis and we are looking for corporate donations for the 2011 Great Strides Walk.

Please consider sponsoring Team Katie in the 2011 Great Strides walk, which will be held on May 29 2011 at Safari Niagara in Stevensville.

The cause: Help find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis

The need: Cash donations. Donations of goods or services will be:

  1. Auctioned or sold and the proceeds donated as cash; and/or
  2. Awarded as incentive prizes to Team Katie and/or CF Niagara walkers;

Note: 100% of the proceeds from all cash and/or donations will go directly to Cystic Fibrosis Canada via Team Katie as part of our 2011 Great Strides fundraising.

The recipient: Cystic Fibrosis Canada (which is a registered Canadian charity)

The business benefits of sponsoring Team Katie:

  1. Support a local charity need;
  2. Encourage a local family;
  3. Great marketing opportunity;

Marketing opportunities:

Team Katie communicates directly with over 500 individuals, many of whom are located in the Niagara region. This includes family, friends, co-workers and other supporters of Team Katie. This group of people is passionate about this cause and they are acutely aware of (and supportive of) the help that is provided by other Team Katie sponsors, including you!

We use multiple avenues to communicate with Team Katie supporters, including, but not limited to, the following:

Blog (

  • 3000+ page views since September 2010
  • 630 page views in April 2011 alone

Additional Social Media:

  • Team Katie email distribution list = 250+ supporters, almost all of whom are located within Niagara.
  • Facebook (Todd Dow): 450+ friends
  • LinkedIn (Todd Dow): 250+ followers
  • Twitter (toddhdow): 75+ followers

How your company will be recognized:

Walker level – for donations up to $500:

  1. Thank you notes will be sent via Team Katie social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) & blog (
  2. 1 year placement in sponsor area on
  3. Special mention at end of Great Strides campaign thank you email and blog post to Team Katie distribution list

Runner level – for donations from $500 to $2,500:

  1. All of the Walker level benefits; plus
  2. “Runner” level sponsorship placement on in the right side navigation area right below “Support Team Katie” from time of sponsorship until February 28 2012
  3. I’ll create a Facebook fan page for your business and advertise it to my network to help raise your company profile

 Marathoner level – for donations over $2,500:

  1. All of the Runner level benefits; plus
  2. “Marathoner” premium sponsorship placement on the header (top of the page beside the site logo) of
  3. “Marathoner” premium sponsorship placement on all emails that are sent on behalf of Team Katie and Breathing As A Family from time of sponsorship until February 28 2012

 If you are interested in donating $7,500 or more, please contact me directly. I’ll find a creative way to make that size of a donation worth your while (all of the above, plus web marketing consulting, website design, etc.) Trust me, it will be money well spent!

To support Team Katie:

  1. Sponsor Team Katie directly by clicking on the “Click here to donate to Team Katie” link on (under “Support Team Katie” at top right of the site);
  2. Email ( or call (905.563.7195) Todd or Julie Dow directly to discuss additional donation options;

Thank you for your support,

Todd, Julie, Noah, Katie & Riley Dow